The Beckett Blog


Upper Deck Honors Maple Leaf Legends in Toronto by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Considering the Toronto Maple Leafs’ NHL tenure, the historical franchise from the league’s “original six” deserves a little pampering here and there. With a limited commemorative promo pack distributed exclusively in the Toronto area, Upper Deck is offering local Leafs collectors a little extra somethin’, somethin’ in early November.

The 15-card be assembled by ripping open the three-card commemorative packs, free with the purchase of one box of 2010-11 Upper Deck Series One Hockey cards at participating shops. Featuring “must mention” Maple Leaf players like Frank Maholvich, Johnny Bower, Jean-Sebastian Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson, this offering is a black and white tribute to the past and present. Continue reading

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Live from the Ice: An Update from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

The afternoon session at the 2010 NHL Rookie Photo Shoot included a lunch for the players and gathered media (which disseminated fairly quickly after the morning skate). There is a pick-up hockey game that will end the afternoon events before the rookies take the bus back to the host hotel.

A most curious and interesting scenario, however, occurred as the rookies were taking their photos and video rolls. A bunch of young kids were using the ice for a practice. The awe in the eyes of the children as they saw their dreams and aspirations personified walking among them made for a much more spirited effort in training sessions.

Inspiration, it seems, comes from the most unlikely places and surprise times. These kids didn’t expect to see actual drafted NHL players in what was surely just a routine practice. Their surprise and elation will form a deeper root in their commitment.

Lunch intersected the sessions and the ’95-born Toronto Marlboros took to the ice for their own practice. While the interaction wasn’t as extensive as they likely preferred with the potential NHL Rookies, similar to the younger kids, the practice was high energy and focused.

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Real-Time Photo Gallery from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

TORONTO — After this morning’s media scrum cleared, the next phase of the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase had players on a brief skate for action photos. As the players skated away and toward the camera, taking various shots, some rookies started showing off shooting skills on Nashville netminder Chet Pickard after Milwaukee Admirals teammate Jonathan Blum fired some preliminary warm up cannons from between the face off circles.

The cold arena, coupled with heat-wave-like conditions surrounding Toronto set up a thick fog across the ice surface that even skating players couldn’t lift. Skating through the fog gave the appearance of waif-like creatures emerging in battle fatigues, ready for action.

Players lined up in their respective organizations’ uniforms and participated in a small video roll. Florida Panthers rookies Eric Gudbranson and Jacob Markstrom participated in a hilarious video shoot, set up with various comical situations (including a funny bit with two dolls and a proposal of a female assistant on the ice) set up through the NHLPA.

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The Puck Drops on the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

TORONTO — Future NHL hopefuls were gathered this morning, lined up waiting for the inevitable questions about hockey cards, collectibles and their own experiences as collectors growing up.
Heaped upon the majority of young men were questions about their young careers to this point, with the next level so close they could taste it, just like the complimentary breakfast afforded to the media horde.

The 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase is being held today at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the Toronto Maple Leafs practice facility, in association with Panini America and Upper Deck, the official trading card partners of the NHLPA and NHL.

For some players, this may be one of a few times in their careers to be involved in such intense media surroundings. For others, like 2010 first overall pick Taylor Hall and his potential line mates, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paarjarvi-Svensson, the attention may be familiar. They’ve all performed like champs so far, answering questions and cracking some jokes.

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Relic Wear lets collectors take their memorabilia everywhere by Chris Olds

Every collector knows that storage and display of their prized memorabilia pieces presents challenges.

But there’s a new product that solves that and allows the owner to take their memorabilia with them anywhere they go.

Well, as long as they’re wearing it.

Relic Wear is a new line of limited-edition bracelets, keyrings and pendants which include at least one piece of game-used sports memorabilia from some of the biggest names in baseball and hockey.

“At the moment [we’re] geared toward hockey and the Winter Olympics,” said Alex Malone, the founder of Relic Wear, via email. “[But] we will even be providing a service for collectors to send us their game used patches to be made into custom pendants for them.”

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*** NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (11/13) CONTEST No. 2 — A 2002-03 UD Artistic Impressions hockey set of Beckett Promos by Chris Olds

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NOW CLOSED. Click here for the latest contests.

We’re  starting off Free Stuff Friday with these cards that can be yours right now

logoHow can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the questions after the jump …

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Upper Deck aims to make two Canadian hobby shops “Hockey Card Heaven” by Chris Olds

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Upper Deck unveiled its latest promotional sports program on Wednesday  — “Hockey Card Heaven” – which will tab two Canadian hobby shops as divine destinations.

The shops with the most creative promotions, those that increase sales and those that market new hockey cards in the best ways will be in the running for prizes. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges.

The grand-prize winners will earn an in-store visit and autograph session with an NHL player — one being Toronto rookie goaltender Jonas Gustavsson while the second will be revealed later this month. The contest begins Nov. 15, and runs through Feb. 28 with the winners announced on March 8, 2010.

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